“Peace, Education and Health” – Use Your Voice for the Voiceless
Sakena Yacoobi, founder of the Afghan Institute for Learning, is a valued and highly respected member of the IIPE/GCPE network. We urge you to support her plea (posted below) to give voice to the Afghan people whose dire plight has been generally ignored by the world community and inadequately addressed by the United States who have yet to fulfill promises to the Afghans who, though having assisted the US, were left behind to the mercies of the Taliban.
During these years of danger AIL has continued at high risk to work toward the goals all present appeals from Afghan women call for: peace, education, and health – the fundamentals of human security to which all human beings are entitled. We urge you to demand of all governments, the United Nations, and any and all private and intergovernmental agencies that have been active in Afghanistan to take immediate action to confront the consequences of the most recent repressive action of the Taliban. Use your voice in support of the courageous Afghans now risking their lives to give voice to their nation who now refuse to be voiceless in the face of the Taliban’s efforts to eliminate women from Afghan life. (BAR, 12-31-22)
OFFICIAL PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM SAKENA YACOOBI & THE AFGHAN INSTITUTE OF LEARNING
(Download the original statement here)
I stand for the women and children of Afghanistan. I stand with my nation and its people who feel the world has turned their backs to them. I stand for peace, education and health of the people to strengthen my country.
For nearly 30 years, Afghan Institute of Learning has built schools and clinics in Afghanistan. For decades we have watched the government change, watched the corruption continue, the people suffer at the cost of political wars, and now we watch once more as our nation crumbles. Through it all, we have stayed, we have avoided involvement in politics, we have dedicated ourselves and our entire program to the well being of the Afghan people, to the future generation, and to bringing the foundational changes necessary to see a prosperous Afghanistan.
With recent news, of restrictions on women, education, and their freedom; my heart bleeds. Without women, we cannot teach, without mothers, there are no children, we cannot nurture a new generation with the right morals and ethics. Without women, half of our population, will not receive medical care, we will not be able to distribute life saving aid to thousands in the provinces far and near who are afraid of the outsiders, we cannot hold the trust of the millions who are desperate for help.
AIL has been cautious, we have had sleepless nights, we have traveled discreetly to continue our work, our staff risks their lives to continue serving the people. We have redesigned almost everything to abide by new guidelines; time and again, under every circumstance we have done everything possible to keep our promise to Afghanistan. We are sincerely grateful, at this time our girls k-6 are still attending classes, our older girls still have the option of our Womens Learning Centers, and Meraj Academy continues to stream on Television giving more access than ever before to our school curriculum for grades 7-12 and educating the country as a whole on how to meaningfully contribute to society, to their nation and the security of a brighter future.
We have starved and suffered beside our people. We have watched, families freeze on the streets, children are dying, babies are starving, we have given warmth to many we knew would not make it to morning, we have turned away patients who were ill because we could not afford anymore medicine or reached capacity, we have distributed food and barely made it to the end of the lines around our buildings. There are not enough organizations to help, do not destroy the ones who are giving little hope to our people. We cannot do this alone.
Now I no longer ask, I am begging; for this to stop. I beg for sanctions to be lifted, I beg for the international community to consider who is truly suffering the consequences of what the politicians are doing with the new government. I beg the Emirates to listen, for the sake of all the women and children we are losing. The peace talks have stopped, the media coverage has moved to the next crises, and people are forgetting that nothing has gotten better for the millions of Afghans left with nothing, and no one to stand beside them.
Please do not let this go on, help us, help the voiceless, to save Afghanistan.
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi
Executive Director & Founder
Sakena Fund / Afghan Institute of Learning